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NES Video Chat: Maintaining a Comfortable Living Environment in Space
June 5, 2012
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Date: June 5, 2012
Time: Noon - 1:00 p.m. EDT
Topic: Science: chemistry, human body, water cycle; Environmental control and life support system
Career: Aerospace Engineer: branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft.

 
Dr. Morgan Abney and Jennifer Pruitt both work at NASA's Environmental Control and Life Support System, or ECLSS, Development Facility at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, in Huntsville, Ala. The ECLSS consists of an air revitalization system, water coolant loop systems, atmosphere revitalization pressure control system, active thermal control system, supply water and waste water system, waste collection system, and airlock support system. These systems interact to provide a habitable environment on the space station for the flight crew in the crew compartment in addition to cooling or heating various systems or components.

Abney focuses on the development of new and existing technologies for the recovery of oxygen from metabolic carbon dioxide. These technologies will be used in future manned missions to the moon, a deep space habitat or even Mars. Abney attended Grenada Elementary School and Scott Valley Junior High in Ft. Jones, Calif., and Madison Southern High School in Berea, Ky. She holds a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky, both in chemical engineering. She enjoys spending time with her two-year-old son, traveling, riding motorcycles with her husband and playing team sports.

Pruitt's job is to sustain the urine processor on the space station by monitoring in-orbit data and system health, preparing and performing ground testing, and supporting software and hardware updates. Pruitt attended North Pocono Middle and High Schools in Moscow, Pa. She earned a mechanical engineering degree from Penn State University. She enjoys crafting, sewing, dancing, singing, theater and puzzles.

Related Resources:
> International Space Station Interactive Reference Guide
> International Space Station Photosynths
> Waste Limitation Management and Recycling Design Challenge
> Environmental Control & Life Support System – NASA Facts [PDF]
> Dedication & Perspiration Builds the Next Generation Life Support System
> Environmental Control & Life Support System Diagram [PDF]
> A Little Sweat Goes a Long Way for Exploration

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The Environmental Control and Life Support System mounted in its rack
The Environmental Control and Life Support System on the International Space Station has a water recovery component.
Image Credit: 
NASA
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Morgan Abney
Dr. Morgan Abney
Image Credit: 
NASA
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Jennifer Pruitt
Jennifer Pruitt
Image Credit: 
NASA
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Page Last Updated: September 18th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator